Export champion focuses closer to home with World Cup campaign
Coffee roasters and suppliers Lincoln & York - listed first place in the Sunday Times International Track 200 Awards (June 9) after exports grew by a spectacular 265% a year to £7.2m in 2017 - has been focusing closer to home during the World Cup in a bid to entice locals to get a taste for nitro cold brew.
While there has been a huge interest in cold brew coffee in London, Lincoln & York – which has plans to build on its international success by increasing overseas sales by a further 50% by 2023 - said there had been little take-up of cold brew coffee in the company’s North East homeland.
A ‘2018 World Cup 600 litre give-away of Black Eye Cold Brew’ has been launched to promote and educate the local market about cold brew coffee, while also encouraging people to get into the spirit by trying a Black Eye White Russian cocktail too.
“We want to create a buzz around Black Eye in our local region. We’re finding that while its selling well in London, up here it’s not as popular, so we’re getting educational messages out to inform consumers what cold brew coffee is all about,” Fay Szakal, Lincoln & York’s marketing assistant, told Coffee Business World.
Using social media to encourage people to ‘tag your favourite bar, pub, hotel, restaurant or coffee shop in Hull and we’ll deliver 10-litres for free!’, the campaign - entitled Black Eye White Russian – has been aiming to build upon the interest in all things Russian, while England were performing well in the football championships.
With coffee shops becoming social hubs and expanding into the “undeveloped day-part” by offering cocktails, Black Eye Cold Brew (with cocktail recipes for the White Russian and more online) was well placed to meet the new consumer demand, it said.
Lincoln & York's belief in the need to educate the consumer about nitro is recognised within the latest Allegra World Coffee Portal 2018 edition of Project Iced Beverages. It reports that while half of industry leaders (52%) expect cold brew to become a coffee shop staple within the next three years (although just 12% believe nitro will enter the mainstream), industry sources state that "more consumer education" is needed on nitro.
No1 for exports
Speaking about being ranked top in the Sunday Times International Track 200 league table, Lincoln & York’s managing director James Sweeting said: “For us to be recognised by such a prestigious organisation like The Sunday Times, whilst accompanying such huge household names like BrewDog, in the same article, on the same page, is a triumph on its own, but to come out on top of the eventual pile is a caffeine kick like no other.”
The Sunday Times International Track 200 Awards ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest growing experts.
“This year the average annual growth of the 200 listed companies was 62%. Fortunately for us we quadrupled this amount to achieve a phenomenal 265% increase in sales, taking our figures from £541k to £7.2m, landing us first prize.”
He continued: “Moving forwards, we’re looking to increase our overseas sales to account for 50% of our revenue by 2023, so the hard work has only just begun! We are also opening up new avenues in to the speciality coffee market, with our cold brew product: Black Eye Cold Brew. This is something we have high hopes for and envisage it being an offering in bars, restaurants and cafes across the whole of Europe.
Lincoln & York employs 100 staff, among them four in-house Q Graders - sommeliers of the coffee world.
Black Eye Cold Brew
Lincoln & York’s Black Eye boasts “recognisable characteristics… making it distinctive and memorable in the cold brew sector”. It is brewed for 14-hours, 0% sugar but with a sweeter taste, same “tail wagging” caffeine levels as filtered coffee, has less acidity and is more chocolatey.
It’s available as a ‘stand-alone’ brew in a can or via bag-in-box and can be infused with nitrogen by a Vitop tap.